Historic Railroad Map of the Western United States - 1863

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Map of the Territory of the United States from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.

Drawn in 1863, this is the last work of the Pacific Railroad Surveys. It reflects both northern and southern proposed western rail routes.

The Pacific Railroad Surveys were conducted between 1853 and 1860 under the direction of the United States War Department. A number of railroad and telegraph routes toward the Pacific Ocean were surveyed to determine the best and most economical paths. The surveyors who mapped the American West mainly followed proven Indian trails or wagon train routes.

This edition of the map was published in 1863 to accompany the memoirs of Gouverneur K. Warren, who had been part of the Central Pacific Survey which encompassed the 37th and 39th parallels from St. Louis to San Francisco. Warren had gained much attention in 1863 during the Battle of Gettysburg with his defense of Little Round Top. It gained him the rank of major general and the nickname “Hero of Little Round Top”.

Later during the war General Warren was relieved of his VI Corps command by an impatient General Sheridan for being too hesitant during the Appomattox Campaign. Warren resigned as a result as major general and reverted to his permanent post as a major with the Corps of Engineers. Major Warren worked for a number of years surveying for railroads along the Mississippi River, eventually reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. The sting of his civil war command relief haunted him all the while.

Warren fought for the rest of his life to clear himself of any wrongdoing during the event. It was finally determined during a lengthy court of enquiry in the late 1870's that G.K. Warren's relief of command had not been justified, but the verdict was not published before the man died in 1882.

This detailed map was drawn in 1858 by E. Freyhold for the United States War Department and published in 1863 by Gouverneur K. Warren. It shows relief, drainage, cities, towns, forts, trails wagon roads, and routes of explorations. Indian tribal locations and military posts are noted.

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